GHQ RETAIL SPOTLIGHT
“This store for us is our latest and greatest and is somewhat of a petri
dish where we are testing a bunch of stuff,” says Kurt Schertle, COO.
That includes things like the Tasting Kitchen cooking station right
inside the entrance, where in-house dietitian Erin Long shows shoppers
how to whip up nutritious dishes using readily found ingredients, to a
greatly expanded Café housing the company’s first in-store Pub (under
Pennsylvania state law, supermarkets stocking beer and wine must sell
it in a dedicated area of the store that also serves food, seats at least 30
and with a dedicated checkout).
BELLY UP TO THE BARS
Although the Pub has its own separate outside entrance, it is also readily accessible from inside the store. Its U-shaped configuration features
what could definitely be called a unique assortment. The side facing the
floral and produce departments is a family-friendly ice cream parlor,
featuring an assortment of Weis Quality ice creams made in the chain’s
Sunbury plant, along with fountain sodas.
The front of the section houses a Caribou Coffee counter, featuring
made-to-order coffees, lattes, espressos and other coffee-based drinks.
“We really got the Caribou brand rolling here,” says Richard Gunn, SVP
merchandising and marketing. “It is now company-wide.”
The third side is the actual Pub itself, featuring barstool seating and
Weis officials, from left, Kurt Schertle, COO; Jonathan Ludwick, Enola assistant
store manager; and Richard Gunn, SVP merchandising and marketing.
YOGURT BAR STIRS IT UP
IN ADDITION TO THE BEER AND WINE BAR, Weis
Markets’ Enola store boasts another bar that is rather
uncommon in supermarket circles – the Chobani Creation
Yogurt Bar. Housed between produce and the store’s Café
area where beer and wine are sold, the five-foot stainless
steel self-serve unit allows shoppers to create their own
yogurt parfaits and other healthy yogurt treats.
Chilled wells on the left feature tubs of Chobani plain
and vanilla flavored yogurts, while other smaller wells
are filled with a wide variety of rotating healthy toppings.
On a recent visit, that included: fresh blueberries; banana
chips; walnuts; fresh strawberries; granola; pineapple; dark
chocolate chips; coconut chips; basil pesto; fresh blackber-ries; sundried tomatoes; almond slivers, and honey and blue
agave as sweeteners.
Shoppers simply take either a small or large cup, ladle out
the yogurt and pile on the toppings for $5 per pound.
“We’re finding our sales are mostly in the morning,” says
Kurt Schertle, COO at Weis Markets. “We have a full breakfast bar that we do in our hot bar area, so we’ll do custom
pancakes, omelets, French toast sticks, bagels with cream
cheese, etc. This is more driven with people coming in for
breakfast,” he says, adding that Weis officials are studying
the Chobani Bar’s results.
“Does a Chobani Bar make sense everywhere?” he asks.
“In some places, it may. In some places it may not, so we are
learning from the unit.”